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Dateline NBC

News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda Kotb. (2013) After a woman is murdered, her husband's secret lifestyle is exposed; 'The Bling Ring.' New. (CC) (Stereo)

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mpeg2video

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704

PIXEL HEIGHT
480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Bob Bashara 30, Gentz 22, Joe Gentz 18, Detroit 17, Rachel 17, Goodkin 14, Orlando 11, Nick 9, Alexis Neiers 9, Hollywood 7, Nick Prugo 7, Us 5, At&t 5, Sofia 4, Paris Hilton 4, Nissan 4, Bashara 4, Grosse Pointe 3, Activia Greek 3, Winchester 3,
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  KICU    Dateline NBC    News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda Kotb.  
    (2013) After a woman is murdered, her husband's secret...  

    June 21, 2013
    8:00 - 10:01pm PDT  

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i noticed men and women carrying whips but that's the only thing that could have been out of the ordinary. out of the ordinary? yeah. >> reporter: an incredible new chapter in one of the strangest storieses we have ever had here on "dateline." the story of master bob bashara. >> we had a drink. then down to the dungeon. >> reporter: this buttoned-down businessman living a secret sex life right out of "50 shades of grey." was there a darker secret he was hiding? >> did you murder your wife? >> absolutely not. >> reporter: he was the prime suspect.
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then someone else confessed. >> i hit her. i went, bam. >> reporter: soon master bob himself was confessing to something equally dark. >> bashara is looking for a hit man to knock off his hit man? >> reporter: what were the other secrets in the suburbs? >> i wanted them to know the truth. >> also tonight, another story that's all about secrets. >> it's kind of an addiction. the thrill of it. >> they were so hungry for fame they stole it, walking right into celebrities' homes. then walt zing right out with te ultimate goody bags. >> jewelry, cash, drugs if there were drugs. >> she became the face of it all. >> are you looking at jail time? >> i'm going to say no. >> she's never told the full story until now. >> my life was spiralling out of control. i really was. >> tonight you will hear dramatic secrets. >> essentially she was kidnapped. >> and a surprise ending that's way different from hollywood's
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new movie "the bling ring". >> i have a different life now. i firmly believe it was the best thing that ever happened to me. >> i'm less ter holt. this is "dateline." tonight two cases of seb rhett lives, hidden obsessions. first a totally true secrets of the bling ring. >> reporter: welcome to hollywood. the land of the it girls -- and boys. the kingdom that's home to our special breed of american royalty -- celebrities. we can't get enough of how they look, who they date, what they wear. for most of us, the fascination ends with reading about them in the tabloids. but one group took all of that to a new level -- a criminal level. maybe you have heard of them -- the bling ring. at its core, teenagers who apparently cultivated two life
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skills -- breaking and entering. these were kids so obsessed with celebrities they literally wanted a piece of them, boldly going into the homes of hollywood's bold-faced names, stealing their stuff, and wearing it. and now art is imitating life. >> let's go shopping. this all-american tale of envy, greed and the ability to tell gucci from chanel but not right from wrong is the inspiration for a new movie by sofia coppola starring emma watson as one of the teen burglars. >> i wanna rob. >> reporter: the actual story of the bling ring is wilder than the movie version. while the legal cases are all done, the real life story is still going through rewrites. tonight you will hear it for the first time from a young woman who is every bit as glamorous as the star who played her.
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>> the heartbreaking story of a bunch of young people who were really broken and in a lot of pain. >> reporter: and this young man who was at the center of it all. >> when you're a teenager, especially today, there is so much pressure, especially in los angeles, i think. >> pressure to look good? have the cool things? >> to be like celebrities that are on tv. >> the list of celebrities targeted in a massive burglary ring is blowing this morning. >> reporter: it began in october 2008 with a string of burglaries targeting the homes of hollywood stars. >> it's very violating. it's not about the material things and the things that they took because that comes and goes. >> reporter: lindsay lohan was just one victim on a list that looked like the red carpet at an awards show. paris hilton, orlando bloom, rachel bilson, megan fox and her then boyfriend, now husband brian austin green, audrina patridge of mtv's "the hills" also made the list. it was at patridge's home where
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for the first time a security camera captured images of the burglars. officer brett goodkin worked hollywood station for the lapd. >> any time you get real clear surveillance images of suspects committing crime it peiques you oh interest. you will look closely. do i know these people? >> reporter: the images were clear. a guy in a ball cap. a girl in a white t-shirt. >> in this case they seemed like young offenders. >> reporter: months later after other celebrities had been hit, the burglars showed up on a second tape. this time at lindsay lohan e's house. >> we were certain among ourselves that the male white offender in both videos, it was the same guy. but we still didn't know who he was. >> reporter: now we e know. the burglar in the ball cap was this guy -- nick prugo. >> what's it like in a celebrity's house? >> like you would expect -- sterile, beautiful, shiny things sn
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. >> reporter: he probably doesn't match your picture of a serial foender. prugo is from the up scale suburb of oh calabasas. when he started indian hills high school in 2006 he was lonely, not fitting in, until he made a new friend -- rachel lee. she was cool. had nice clothes. >> rachel was one of the first people to be drawn to me. i was drawn to her. she was nice to me. that was nice. i didn't have a lot of friends at the time. >> reporter: it wasn't long, says nick, before his new friend introduced him to a new hobby -- stealing. it started small. breaking into cars looking for money and valuables. it quickly escalated. >> then it went to a couple of regular homes and then celebrity homes. it was like a natural progression, if you would call that natural. >> reporter: and they walked away with their arms full of celebrity swag.
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>> clothing, jewelry, cash, drugs if there were drugs. >> reporter: was there a perception that celebrities have a lot, are worth a lot, have a lot of money, get a lot of free things, just doesn't count? >> it's not so much that it didn't count. it just seemed they had so much they might not care as much or they might not notice. >> reporter: nick said his friends saw the loot they were hauling home and begged to be part of the action. >> a lot of people wanted to be so involved in what rachel and i were doing, you know, pressuring rachel and i to come along and be involved. >> reporter: you went from a guy that was kind of insecure and lonely and didn't have a lot of friends to being sort of big man on campus. >> yeah, i did. >> reporter: just by committing some crimes. >> right. >> reporter: then audrina patridge posted that security cam video on the web. nick saw not just himself but his best friend rachel. >> i was horrified.
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i stopped immediately from what we were doing. we waited about a month and a half before we started anything again. >> reporter: you didn't think maybe i should stop completely? >> of course we did. i more so really didn't want to stop but then i had this reassurance from rachel which made me like, oh, this is okay. it blew over oh. we're fine as long as we're low key. >> reporter: it was kind of a drug. >> an addiction. it really was. >> reporter: they kept it up for nearly a year. hitting home after home, some multiple times. boosting clothes, jewelry, expensive makeup. all of it worth an estimated $3 million. but, like most of what hollywood turns out, it didn't last. >> the real break came when the stills from the two videos were posted on the internet. people called and said, hey, i know who that is. that's nick prugo. >> reporter: police arrested prugo. at first he refused to talk, but
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then -- >> my attorney arranged a meeting and advised me to let the police know everything i knew and that i would have some sort of immunity to the whole thing. >> reporter: nick told officer goodkin all about rachel lee and went on to finger more accomplices. one stood out. an 18-year-old beauty named alexis neiers. if the others committed burglary because they wanted to feel like stars, alexis was actually on her way to becoming one. she was already shooting her own reality show on the e network called "pretty wild". >> lapd. >> what? >> we have a warrant to search your house. >> reporter: the show depicted the moment when the cops arrived wlt search warrant. >> shut off the cameras. >> reporter: fame and infamy. reality tv, and the real world suddenly collided. >> a little later, you will hear
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what alexis neiers says is the truth about the bling ring. and what was really going on behind the scenes of that reality show. >> my life was spiralling out of control. i really was. >> but first inside those hollywood heists. >> she had a key under her mat. the alarm wasn't set. the door was unlocked. a talking car. but i'll tell you what impresses me. a talking train. this ge locomotive can tell you exactly where it is, what it's carrying, while using less fuel. delivering whatever the world needs, when it needs it. ♪ after all, what's the point of talking if you don't have something important to say? ♪
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18-year-old nick prugo was under arrest after confessing that he and his friends had lived large in a crime spree that lasted nearly a year -- burglarizing the homes of hollywood's rich and famous.
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and now he was telling police everything. according to nick, this was ocean's 11 meets 7-11 -- part caper, part quick stop shopping. they began each heist by choosing the celebrity target. >> we'd pick out the style of celebrity we liked. it was more or less we like how they dress so we are going to their house and just, you know, see what we can come up with. >> reporter: next the burglars had to learn when the targeted star's home would be empty. according to nick, that wasn't so hard to figure out. >> we had a lot of access to their schedules because their lives are so public it was easy to tell when they would be home or wouldn't be home. >> reporter: but how to find the home itself? nick told police the information was just a few clicks away. several websites offered detailed high resolution images that anyone can access, kind of
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like the star maps tourists buy on sunset boulevard, only much more accurate and much more useful. >> reporter: you can see if there is a pathway up the side of the house or from the next lot or road. >> right. >> reporter: with a target in mind, detailed maps of the home, and the knowledge that the owner was away, they had only to make their way inside. surprisingly, that wasn't so hard either. >> a lot of these homes were probably easier to get into than, you know, a regular home down the streets. all the alarms were off. they all had them. but they were off. >> reporter: their first celebrity victim, paris hilton, made things easier than that. the bling ring burglarized her home multiple times. >> she had a key under her mat. the alarm wasn't set and the door was unlocked on several occasions. >> reporter: how did you feel inside the homes? >> horrified. sweating, scared.
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i guess the rush came when we left and we had the stuff and everything was okay. but, you know, when i was in the middle of it i was just terrified. >> reporter: i look at the tapes, it doesn't look like you're worried about getting caught. >> we just really didn't understand how serious it was. >> reporter: exhibit a, his own mug shot. that shirt prugo is wearing rightfully belonged to orlando bloom. >> my whole entire clothing wardrobe was, you know, essentially stolen. >> reporter: then there was the defendant who came to court along with her own makeup artist so she could have a little touch-up before and then after her arraignment. that was alexis neiers who had been arrested on the set of her own reality show "pretty wild" on e, and who at times seemed to think her legal troubles were just another subplot. >> hopefully that's not something we'll be wearing any
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time soon. >> that's definitely not anything i will be wearing. orange is not my color. >> reporter: she was charged with burglarizing orlando bloom's home. in that case there was also security video. officer brett goodkin took the stand at her preliminary hearing. >> who identified these individuals to you? >> mr. prugo. >> reporter: goodkin testified prugo said this was alexis, all walking backwards to avoid the security cameras. >> you are seen in the video leaving mr. bloom's property three times. two of which she's holding a large amount of property. >> reporter: according to goodkin police found in alexis's home a marc jacobs purse belonging to rachel bilson and a chanel necklace belonging to lindsay lohan. alexis gave a statement admitting to being at bloom's
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house during a burglary. >> are you looking at jail time? >> i highly doubt it. i'm going to say no oh. >> you're going to say no? >> i'm doing great. thank you for asking though. >> reporter: when the time came for trial, alexis suddenly decided to make a deal, pleading no contest to first-degree residential burglary. once again it was all captured by the "pretty wild" cameras. >> i realized that i have made some bad choices and for that i suffer the consequence. but if buddha can sit under a tree for 40 days then i can do this. i can do this. >> reporter: she was sentenced to six months in jail, and three years probation. she ended up serving one month. perhaps worse, her show was cancelled after only nine episodes. now for the first time she's ready to tell the full story of her involvement with the bling ring. and as you will hear, she says
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nothing about that or about her is quite as it seemed. >> my life was spiralling out of control. i really was. it was really bad. really, really bad. >> coming up -- some pretty surprising revelations from the "pretty wild" star. >> i wasn't living at home with my family. i was panhandling on the streets for drug money. >> when "dateline" continues. 'cause mcdonald's just topped perfection with the all-new quarter pounder burgers. three delectable new choices that let you flaunt your burger bravado. with toppings like new thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, cool and spicy habanero ranch sauce, and fresh veggies. new quarter pounder burgers. another new way to love mcdonald's. ♪ another new way to love mcdonald's. i wa s ha another new way to love mcdonald's. ving an affair with greek nonfat yogurt, 0% fat packed with protein thick and creamy look i'm in a committed relationship with activia and i've been happy
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>> reporter: reality starlet alexis neiers had become in many ways the symbol of the bling ring -- or at least the one with the most face time. >> did you guys see it? >> reporter: the only defendant in the case whose arrest was dramatized on her own reality show. >> at first i was like, is this the producers playing a trick on us? are they trying to get extra drama going here? what did we do last night that could have been bad? >> reporter: you might think getting arrested was the low point of alexis's life. but she said she actually had already hit bottom. >> i wasn't livinging at home with my family. i was living at a best western on franklin and vine, doing drugs every day, all day long. i was panhandling on the streets for drug money. >> reporter: it wasn't the life anyone envisioned for the pretty brunette growing up in the affluent l.a. suburb of oak
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park. both her parents worked in the entertainment industry. mom was a former lingerie model who appeared in a special edition of "playboy". >> i was definitely not a conventional mother. >> reporter: andrea is alexis's mom. >> my daughter grew up with incense burning in the house and buddhas. we practiced yoga together. >> reporter: andrea taught them to follow the law of attraction. you may have heard of it by its more commercial name, the secret. the belief that focusing on positive or negative thoughts brings about a like result. >> you can help heal your body. you can help create more prosperity in your life, or you can bring josh of "dateline" to interview you to get your daughter's truth told. >> reporter: alexis's parents divorced when she was 5. she said another relative abused her sexually.
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>> it made me shut down is what it did. i was like smoking cigarettes by 6th grade. started drinking. it progressed from there. by the time i was in 9th grade i was doing acid all the time, cocaine, smoking weed. by the time i was 18 i was a full blown heroin addict. it happened fast for me. >> reporter: your mom was where during this? didn't know it was going on? >> not really. i really manipulated and lied to her about a lot of my drinking, using growing up. >> reporter: alexis says what drew her to hollywood was not an obsession with fame and celebrity but something much more practical. >> i got into the industry doing odd jobs, modeling, music videos, things like that because it sustained by drug habit. >> reporter: while shooting a low budget film called "frat party" a producer discovered alexis and her friend tess whom
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alexis thinks of as a sister. >> we started talking about our crazy, weird life. our mom who was, you know, a fanatic about holistic health care and "the secret" and these things. it eventually took off into this reality show. >> reporter: "pretty wild" seemed to have all the elements of reality ratings gold. two gorgeous, carefree young women party their way through hollywood as eccentric mother andrea tries to keep control of it all. >> where are you guys? >> it seemed life was easy and breezy. >> reporter: the darker side of your life -- all the drugs, alcohol, prescription medications, you sort of squeezed that into the closet? >> yeah. while all of my friends were, like, drinking a couple of drinks at the table i was downing shots and smoking in the bathroom. i took it to another extreme.
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>> reporter: in april of 2009, she says, she met nick prugo. what was nick like? >> he was just young and fun. >> reporter: fascinated with celebrity? >> i didn't see that, no. >> reporter: she says on that fateful night she and prugo were drinking at the restaurant beso in hollywood when nick got a phone call. >> he said, oh, i have to stop by a girl's house to pick up clothes real quick and we'll head home. i just assumed, okay, no problem. >> reporter: alexis said she had no idea the house was actually orlando bloom's. >> he drove up to the house, said i'll be back. you stay in the car. i'll be back shortly. i didn't think twice. i said, okay. after a while, i had to go to the restroom. so i head up this back trail which had steps. entered through and that's when i started to see what was going on. they seemed to be ransacking this house.
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>> reporter: did you take anything from the house? >> no, no. >> reporter: did you actually enter orlando bloom's residence? >> uh-uh. >> reporter: you were on his property. >> on the property. >> reporter: you were not inside the house. >> no. >> reporter: she said she was so drunk she threw up and urinated on the lawn. >> you helped carry a duffel bag. >> he tossed me a duffel bag. i caught it, handed it back. he ran down the hill and i followed him down, yes. but, you know, you're in a state of shock in that moment. it really felt like it went by so fast. >> reporter: you understand that under the law that is participating in a burglary. >> i would say it's more receiving of stolen property. i had no intent to go to that house. you know? i had zero intent to enter that house knowing they were committing a burglary. i had no idea. >> reporter: what about the stolen items that police said were found in her house like a
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marc jacobs bag that belonged to rachel bilson. >> i don't know how somebody can say that's my bag. i know that's my bag. there is no serial number that says it's her bag. >> reporter: you're maintaining that wasn't stolen material. >> no. >> reporter: alexis said she called police a couple of days after the burglary at orlando bloom's house and again when she saw the security video online. >> reporter: did you call because you wanted to make sure the burglaries stopped and the people get caught or you thought you might be on the tapes. >> i called because it was wrong. >> reporter: however, alexis admits she never identified herself to police. apparently hung up before giving much information. although she says she didn't have intent, she did plead no contest to first-degree residential burglary. she did serve time. so case closed, right? maybe not. >> coming up -- turns out the
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bling wasn't the only thing. new questions about the cop on the case. >> he was perhaps just as hungry for his own 15 minutes of fame as the people he was helping to bring down. [ male announcer ] cheez-it brings you, crunchy new zingz. [ cheese ] hey, what's that? oh, uh, new cheez-it zingz -- the crunchiest cheez-it yet. looks pretty ama-zingz. yep. so appeti-zingz. mesmeri-zingz. accessori-zingz. oh! scandali-zingz. that's wrong. ♪ ehh ehh ehh ehh please no... ♪ wild zingz... [ male announcer ] we take the time for our cheese to mature before we bake it into all of our crackers, like crunchy new zingz. because at cheez-it, real cheese matters. i did? when visa signature asked everybody what upgraded experiences really mattered... you suggested luxury car service instead of "strength training with patrick willis." come on todd! flap them chicken wings. [ grunts ] well, i travel a lot and umm... [ male announcer ] at visa signature,
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let's go shopping. >> reporter: the real life story of the bling ring inspired a new film directed by sofia coppola. now in theaters. esta es la historia de la the big name star in the movie is emma watson who plays nikki, a character modeled after alexis neiers.
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>> i want to lead the down coun one day. >> reporter: there is an actor who's not exactly a household name. blink and you will miss him. brett goodkin, lead investigator on the case. his tiny role in the movie became a big deal. >> he was on set one day, according to sofia telling her how the arrest went down. >> reporter: l.a. times reporter broke the story. >> sofia said you would be great to play the arresting officer. he said, why not. maybe flattered by it and decided to throw the cuffs on emma watson. >> reporter: goodkin was paid $12,500 for his work on the film. >> and he didn't inform the district attorney's work which is a huge conflict of interest since three of the bling ring were awaiting trial. >> reporter: by that time alexis
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neiers was out of jail. rachel lee was serving what would be a little more than a year-long stretch and nick prugo was locked up, awaiting sentencing. but three other people were still planning to go to trial and suddenly the arresting officer's involvement in the movie gave prosecutors the same kind of heartburn publicists get when they read tmz. the presiding judge told the defendants, defense counsel should write a thank you letter to officer goodkin for giving you issues you never had before concerning his credibility. his judgment is as poor as it gets. it's a shame he did what he did. it's harmful to the people's case. the three defendants ended up with plea deals and no additional jail time. much lighter sentences than prosecutors hoped for. the lapd launched an internal investigation into goodkin's involvement with the film.
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how do you explain officer goodkin's involvement in this? he had a reputation as a very solid thorough, by the book guy. >> what's interesting about brett in my perspective is he was the one who so understood the country's fascination with the bling ring case when it happened. he sort of got the crux of it, that these kids were obsessed with kim kardashian, paris hilton, reality shows. then it turned out he was perhaps just as hungry for his own 15 minutes of fame as the people he was helping to bring down. >> reporter: when alexis neiers's mother andrea got wind of the investigation into goodkin she saw it as a chance to not just re-open her daughter's case but to rewrite history in the process. despite the fact that alexis pleaded no contest to burglary and served her time, her mother had developed her own quite different theory of the crime and who the victim was. >> she was kidnapped basically and brought to a location where
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she observed a burglary taking place. >> reporter: andrea believes her daughter was a victim of circumstance and of a corrupt investigation by officer goodkin. for example she points to this phone log where alexis's name is linked to a cell number that may have pinged off a tower near orlando bloom's home. andrea says that's not alexis's number -- never was. risk falsifying evidence and going to jail -- >> he didn't think he was going to get caught. >> reporter: -- to get a burglary conviction? >> it wasn't just any burglary conviction. he sat on "dateline" and blew his mouth off about it and told the chief of police and his spear officers he had this thing wrapped up. he didn't think it was ever going to be discovered because who was looking over his shoulder? >> reporter: the lapd refused to comment on a pending
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investigation. a source said investigators thought the phone number did belong to alexis, only to learn later it didn't check out so it wasn't part of the case against her. the los angeles district attorney's office told "dateline" it has no concerns that officer goodkin falsified evidence relating to alexis neiers or any of the bling ring defendants. but alexis and her mom say they have more evidence of misconduct by goodkin. meet jennifer essa. alexis once worked for her as a model. she says while goodkin investigated the bling ring case he sent her flirtatious and inappropriate texts and facebook messages. and she says made a bet with her that alexis was going to jail. if you lost your bet what happened? >> he would get to -- have sex with me, i guess. >> reporter: did you ever reciprocate that flirtation?
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>> no. >> reporter: i interviewed officer goodkin when "dateline" covered the case three years ago. >> any ambition these kids did have translated into them becoming very good burglars. >> reporter: but he declined to speak on camera for this story about any of the allegations against him. he did talk to the los angeles times about his involvement with the movie. i wanted to see what sofia was going to do with the story. it's interesting to see how things work in a factory town. i'm certain i will never work on a movie again. alexis and her mom make one more claim. remember the incriminating videotape from orlando bloom's house? alexis says that can't be her because she was with jennifer essa that night. although -- and this might seem confusing -- alexis does admit she was at bloom's house the following night, just not on tape. what difference does it make
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whether that's you in the video since you acknowledge being at the scene of the house -- >> that person has intent. they are walking backwards with a hooded sweatshirt over their face. that person has intent to go and burglarize a house. >> reporter: that isn't you? >> nope. >> reporter: remember, police said it was nick who identified alexis on the tape. why would nick prugo lie about that? >> i don't know. i don't know. i don't know why he has made several of the lies that he has. >> reporter: who's lying? who's telling the truth the? nick's story of that night is coming up. >> i mean, you're in the home picking out what you want. >> reporter: she did that? she was in there picking out what she wanted? >> of course. she was there. she was aware. >> when "dateline" continues. [ metal rattling ]
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when all was said and done, all of the players in the bling ring pleaded no contest to various charges. nick prugo, the young man at the center of the bling ring who confessed, hoping for an immunity deal, never got one. he served a year in jail for his crimes. he spent that time in surroundings quite different from the lux hollywood hills homes he had once robbed. >> it's a whole nother world. people you meet in there and the
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food and, you know, there's no privacy. i mean, you are living with 140 other inmates in a dorm setting, sleeping on a steel cot. it's intense. >> reporter: while nick was doing his time, the lapd began its investigation into the lead officer on the bling ring case which spurred alexis's mom to try to get her daughter's conviction expunged. >> it was like a public acknowledgment that she's not a felon. she did not intentionally ever burglarize anybody. >> reporter: so i sat down with nick prugo to get his version of what happened that night at orlando bloom's house. remember, alexis said they began the night drinking at the up scale restaurant beso and nick later brought her, unknowingly and unwillingly to the scene of a burglary. nick said almost none of that story is true. >> we were never at beso. we were never out drinking.
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she was at my house. then we met at orlando bloom's. we were in our casual sweats and clothes, hats. >> reporter: what she's wearing is not club wear, it's burglar wear. >> yeah. if you want to coin that phrase, yeah. burglar wear. >> reporter: wearing her burglar best, nick says alexis was clearly and intentionally there to steal. >> i mean, we made several trips in and out of that place. to get to where we were going we had to cut through a chain link fence which we had to crawl through, in and out several times. that's why i don't understand why she could possibly say she had no idea. if you see somebody cutting through a chain link fence and you crawl through it and assist with several bags and you know you're in the home picking out what you want, i mean, i don't understand. >> reporter: she did that? she was in there picking out what she wanted? >> of course. she was there and she was aware. i don't understand this charade she keeps trying to, you know,
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present as fact. >> reporter: furthermore, nick says, alexis's desire to be a part of the bling ring started well before that night. remember how he told us that many of his friends begged for a piece of the action? nick said alexis was one of them. >> she saw the fruits of our labor and she wanted those fruits. >> reporter: nick says there is no doubt that is alexis on the security camera outside bloom's home. alexis says that's not alexis. >> i was there. i think i would know. >> reporter: at the time nick had his own problems with drugs and alcohol, but says his memory is sharp and he's telling the truth. >> i'm not lying about anything, especially my involvement. i don't see why i would make that up to throw her under the bus. do you know what i mean? >> reporter: alexis and her mother say that's what you are doing, that you have it in for her. >> at the end of the day, these people were my friends. i still feel guilty for having
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to kind of throw them all under the bus. because i did feel a sense of loyalty to these people. we had good times. i have great memories of them. i wouldn't go out of my way to try to hurt her or her family. it's just that's what happened. >> reporter: she was there. >> right. that's the truth. people can take that at face value, whatever. >> reporter: alexis's mom andrea says there is proof of nick's grudge against alexis and that he's playing up her role now. she points to a police report from 2009 where he seemed to tell a different story regarding neiers prugo stated he didn't know if she took any property during the burglary of oh bloom's residence. prugo reiterated neiers only accompanied the crew on a single burglary. >> i don't think she wanted to be in trouble, do anything wrong. >> reporter: jeff rubenstein was one of alexis's defense attorneys. >> i believe if the prosecutor didn't have the tape of them walking backwards they still
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would have prosecuted alexis and still would have had enough to convict her based on the crime and her statements. >> reporter: he says what got alexis in trouble were her own statements to police, admitting to being at orlando bloom's house knowing it was during abua burglary and helping carry property off the premises. >> i don't think she understands the type of case the prosecution would put on -- confession, crime. that's all they needed. she's focusing on things like this phone log that she thinks is the lynchpin to the case, proving her innocence if that's not her number. it just ain't so. >> reporter: the lynchpin is the statement in which she admitted to a crime. >> the lynchpin is that. >> reporter: andrea says rubenstein drop it ped the ball the case. he said he recommended a plea deal that may have saved alexis from doing years in prison.
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so maybe the question is not what did neiers do, but who is to blame for it? you have set this up so this is everybody else's fault. where is your responsibility in this? >> coming up -- one more big surprise from alexis about that bling ring thing. >> i firmly believe it was the best thing that ever happened to me. hey.
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alexis neiers was just 18 -- the star of her own reality show. she suddenly found herself starring in a different show. one that ended its run with her behind bars. >> because of my show i was made the face of this thing. >> reporter: but here's the irony. >> today i firmly believe it was the best thing that ever happened to me. snr >> reporter: alexis says behind that sassy facade she was spiralling down. just months after she left jail she was arrested again, this time for violating her probation. police found black tar heroin in her home. >> if i didn't have any initial arrest i wouldn't have had the cops raid my house and find drugs on me. i wouldn't have had the opportunity to get sober that i did. >> reporter: a judge sentenced her to a year in rehab.
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>> i remember when i first entered rehab people literally made bets like this girl is never going to make it. she's too far gone. >> reporter: alexis beat the odds and turned her life around. >> i have over two and a half years sober today. i haven't had a drink, drug or precipitation medication in over two and a half years. >> reporter: in 2012 she married evan hanes, a recovering addict himself. together they run two sober live facilities in malibu. in april, alexis gave birth to a daughter -- harper elizabeth. >> i love being a mom. she's the light of my life. she really is. >> reporter: while despite all evidence to the contrary alexis still insists she was not a part of the bling ring, did not intentionally burglarize orlando bloom's house, she credits everything that happened with saving her life. >> if these series of events didn't happen, i wouldn't be where i am today. >> reporter: alexis says she
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wants her record expunged so she can become a licensed substance abuse counselor. for her mom, the quest seems much more personal. she'd be okay if all of this just came to an end and she was able to live her life now as a wife and a mom and somebody who's sober. i mean, i get the feeling that you're more into changing history than she is. >> i absolutely agree with that. >> reporter: why? because you feel bad about the way things turned out because you wish you'd been more involved as a parent earlier? >> i feel very bad about the way things turned out. not just for alexis but for a lot of people. i feel a sense of guilt and responsibility for the impact that it had on their lives. and i would really like for her name to be cleared. >> reporter: you know, you have set this up so that this is everybody else's fault.
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detective goodkin is out to get you and falsifies evidence. nick prugo is angry at your daughter. your attorney screwed it up. where is your responsibility in this? your daughter ended up drunk and on drugs at the scene of a burglary. where were you when this was playing out? >> i was doing the best that i could as a woman who had been a single mom who was trying to continue to raise her daughter to the best of her ability. >> reporter: do you feel any responsibility for how this all happened? >> i definitely feel like i should have been much more involved in her defense. >> reporter: how about being more involved in her life before it got into a courtroom? >> i think that i was really a great mom. >> reporter: regardless of what she says her role was or wasn't when it came to the bling ring, alexis has a newfound perspective on what drove these kids to steal. >> these kids were young with very little direction in their
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lives. a lot of them had substance abuse issues. a lot of them had traumatic childhoods. i have sympathy for the victims. i have a lot of sympathy for the bling ring crew. you know, i do for myself today, too. >> oh, my god, that's paris hilton. >> reporter: the new bling ring movie is now in theaters. and alexialexis's name is back e news. she and her mom were paid by the movie company for the rights to the story, but alexis hopes people will focus on her new story -- one of a young woman with a second chance. >> i want the story of alexis neiers, a young girl who had all this trauma growing up and at the end walked out victorious, strong, empowered, helping other people. you know, for people to have maybe a smidgeon of hope if this girl who was so broken and in so much pain can get better, so can
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i. >> reporter: perhaps the most delicious part of the story of a snake swallowing its own tail is this. fresh out of jail, nick prugo is taking meetings in hollywood to shop around a possible reality show starring him. i guess i should be congratulating you. a lot of guys come out of jail and don't have a plan to reenter society. >> why not use this to maybe point myself in the right direction? i think the show will help people. why not use what i have now and take advantage of the opportunities? >> reporter: taking advantage. it's really kind of how all this began. if the door is open, why not walk through it? go after what you want. make your own rules. that's the kind of initiative they like here in hollywood. >> and now our second hour of "dateline." it's a story about secrets, too. it starts in one of the
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wealthiest suburbs in the country, but open the right door -- or is it the wrong door -- and you will see another side of this famous american suburb. a world of wild sex and something else -- murder. >> we had a drink and then down to the dungeon. >> big developments in one of the strangest stories we have ever seen. >> he was master bob. >> this husband and father was living a life right out of "50 shades of grey" but was he hiding darker secrets as well? >> did you murder your wife? >> absolutely not. >> he was the number one suspect. then someone else confessed. >> i hit her and i went, bam. >> turns out master bob bashara had a confession to make, too. >> bashara is looking for a hit man to knock off his hit man? >> what is the truth about all those secrets? >> bob said shut the woman up now. >> here's dennis murphy with
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"secrets in the suburbs." >> reporter: most american cities have a neighborhood where the houses are bigger, the money a little older. in detroit it's grosse pointe. >> it's the place where everybody wants to live. the homes are beautiful. the lawns are manicured. everybody appears to live this perfect life. >> reporter: in this tasteful enclave of good schools, good churches, good families going back generations, jane and bob bashara made their home and loved their two children. >> i love this place. how could you not? >> reporter: big bob as he's known with the vanity plates to prove it was active in rotary, a past president and hands on for almost any community fundraiser you could name. jane was equally busy in volunteer organizations, particularly in the high school mothers group. they had been a couple nearly 30 years. >> we clicked pretty much right away. within two years i asked her to marry me. she said yes.
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>> reporter: bob said he loved that jane didn't hold anything back. >> she was outgoing, a go-getter, yet was loving and kind. i was attracted to her right from the beginning because she had a good heart. >> reporter: the children came along. first robert, then jessica. >> this is where the kids grew up. >> reporter: if you look in the front room of their gracious home on middlesex road in grosse pointe park you will see two evergreens. >> when my son was one we brought in a live christmas tree, brought it in, decorated it then took it outside and did the same for my daughter two and a half, three years later. so we have brother and sister growing next to each other oh. now they are about 30 feet. they're wonderful. >> reporter: bob bashara, the son of a judge is a real estate guy. he bews and sells commercial and residential properties around detroit and takes in cash flow
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as a landlord. he bought his first property as a teenager. >> when you play monopoly, the person with the most property wins. >> reporter: jane was a six-figure marketing executive who retired several years ago but went back to work when the recession took a toll on her husband's property business. to all appearances the lives lived in nice house with the grown christmas trees out front weren't all that much different from what was happening in homes up and down the streets of grosse pointe park. then came january 24, 2012. it was 5:30 in the evening. jane was driving her black mercedes suv home from her job in detroit. bob said they spoke on their cells. >> she sounded perfectly fine. she said, i'm coming home, i'll be home in 20 minutes. >> reporter: as jane drove from downtown bob said he was tending to outside cleanup chores at one of his properties.
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when he got home -- he thinks about 8:00 -- there was no jane anywhere in sight. did you see jane's car here? >> i didn't. >> reporter: anything this disarray? >> i just assumed she ran an errand. as 8:30, 9:00 came i started calling her. no answer. >> reporter: bob was getting anxious. >> i called the police and alerted them that my wife once answering the phone. i said, i'm concerned. she's not here. >> reporter: the next morning, a wednesday, tow truck operators in the east end of detroit were making their early rounds. >> before their shift they will drive the streets and look for stolen cars, abandoned cars to make a few extra dollars. >> reporter: marc santia at the time was a top investigative reporter for nbc's detroit affiliate wdiv-tv. >> a tow truck driver spots a beautiful mercedes suv. >> reporter: a shiny vehicle that wouldn't turn a head in
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grosse pointe was a flashing sign saying something is wrong in detroit's gritty east end. just abandoned in a grungy alley, no sounds from within. >> he calls detroit police. sources tell me they walked up on the car. once they poked their head in they saw a woman's body and everything changed. this went from an abandoned vehicle to a homicide scene real quick. >> the 56-year-old mother found dead inside her suv on detroit's east side. >> reporter: when do you get the call? >> the police knocked on the door at 9:30 the next morning. i think i fell to my knees. it was absolutely the worst news i could have gotten. at that point i was grieving. i had to make phone calls. dreaded phone calls to my children. to tell them about their mother. >> reporter: jane bashara, a wife, a mother, a daughter was suddenly violently dead at the age of 56. she had been strangled and severely beaten. >> we are told it was made to look like it was a robbery
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scene. her e purse was dumped out. it looked like she was placed in her own suv and the suv was dumped in an alley on the east side of detroit. >> reporter: grosse pointe park police took jurisdiction over the police because their working theory was jane wasn't murdered in detroit, the city that suffered 340 homicides in 2011, but in a place just seven miles away that hadn't had a single murder since 1992. >> so right away sources were saying they believed she was killed in grosse pointe park. >> reporter: grosse pointe park where residents like to think their grass is greener and murders simply don't happen down the block. >> if jane bashara was killed in grosse pointe park, who killed her, and why? police soon identify a person of interest. and there is a lot of interest in what had been a secret part of his life. >> people saying i don't know bob bashara as grosse pointe bob. i know bob bashara as master
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where was i... you couldn't pause a show in one room then start playing it in another. and...i'm talking to myself... [ male announcer ] call to get u-verse tv for just $19 a month for 2 years with qualifying bundles. rethink possible. >> reporter: grosse pointe park turned out by the dozens to pay respects to jane bashara, a parent whose murderered body was found that morning inside her suv in this seedy alley in detroit. in the crowd her husband bob, a sudden widower. >> jane's family members and friends cannot make sense of any of this. >> reporter: reporter hank winchester covered the candlelight vigil.
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>> the first time many of us saw bob bashara was ten hours after he learned his wife was dead in a mercedes in detroit. >> the focus is now on trying to find out what happened to her last night that ended in her death. >> reporter: a small city police department was now investigating its first homicide in 20 years. the husband was grieving in public. >> it's just unthinkable that this happened to her and what she had to suffer. i'm so upset about it. >> reporter: unthinkable what a respected husband and father like bob bashara was going through. the man known as big bob had no shortage of admirers from fellow ro tarns and church members to people around town who regarded him as a cheerful can do civic booster. >> you're not talking about somebody who had a prior history. bob bashara doesn't have a criminal history. there were no signs of domestic violence at the home. >> reporter: bob was cooperating with the cops, but from the very first, even with those arriving officers who broke the news of
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his wife's death something about bashara's overall responses didn't sit right with authorities, according to tv reporter marc santia. >> police sources and people we talked to felt it was bob as soon as they walked into the house. >> based on what? >> his reaction. bob's reaction wasn't the reaction they expected when a husband learns his wife's body was just found on the east side of detroit. >> reporter: just three days after jane's murder the suspicions of the homicide detectives were made explicit by the police chief. he announced that bob bashara was a person of interest in the killing. >> what's the reaction of all the supporters when the chief of police comes out and says we have a person of interest. >> you're kidding me? bob bashara? that's what we heard time and again. >> one person of interest, bob bashara. what happened there? i have no idea. you look at my life. really look at my life and you can see all the good i have done. why on earth would i want to
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change all of that? why on earth would i want to kill my wife? >> reporter: bob bashara, the community do-gooder, was all over the news. around greater detroit there were people staring at their tv sets saying, i know that guy. tv viewerses who called reporter hank winchester and passed on juicy tips about big bob. wild stories, x rated stuff about a secret life. >> bob bashara was a party man around grosse pointe. dinner partieses, a christmas event. the real party side happened behind closed doors. we are not just talking about a casino night. >> reporter: the tips led winchester to talk to some of the neighbors near one of bashara's commercial properties. >> one of the neighbors said i do notice from time to time men and women dressed in leather from head to toe, wearing masks, carrying whips. that's the only thing i notice that could be out of the ordinary. i'm like, out of the ordinary? yeah.
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>> reporter: winchester's reporting would take him down a grimy flight of exterior stairs. behind the basement door on the right was the storage area for the bar above, the hard luck lounge. the door on oh the left opened to a musty under ground room that people who had been inside called a sex dungeon. >> investigators want to talk with people who worked in a bar just above the alleged dungeon where bashara spent some time. >> reporter: behind the locked door, the gossip went, big bob hosted wild parties and had play dates with willing women identifying themselves as his sex slaves. you can imagine once the cat was out of the bag about the two lives of bob bashara the rotarian with the whip, it became a scandalous story. and irresistible fodder for the detroit bloggers in the bdsm community, that's for bondage,
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domination, sadism and masochism. they were firing off e-mails to hank winchester with all the details. bob bashara became the face of a camera shy group. >> people saying i know him not as grosse pointe bob. i know bob bashara as master bob. >> reporter: master bob in his world of whips and dog collars was a dom or dominant. someone who exerted total control over his sex slaves in a dungeon like this one. police started to ask if the s & m lifestyle might be somehow connected to jane's murder. it surfaced that his special sex partner, according to police and media sources, was a detroit-area woman named rachel gillett. rachel and bob were together at her daughter's wedding in 2011. this shot of them dancing was posted on the photo company's facebook page for all to see. rachel herself turned out to be a chatty kathy blogger.
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her dear diary entries had master bob, mb's, okay. here are samples from the online journal. i love the power you hold over me. i have written about my first encounter with his belt -- ecstasy. the alternative lifestyle, as it is called in s & m circles seems so removed from solid old mac & cheese main stream america that you may wonder if it's not just made up. but it's quite real. this player who says she knows intimately the other side of bob bashara has come out of the shadows. >> it was afternoon. we had a drink. then down to the dungeon. >> reporter: follow her down the stairs to join master bob and rachel. >> coming up -- a peek behind closed doors. >> next to the bed there was a giant web-like-looking device. >> a what? >> it looked like a giant spider web with rope. >> do i want to know?
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the media has painted a picture of e me as a terrible person and all these different things going on in my life when they didn't know me. >> reporter: bob bashara, the church-going rotarian, it turned out had a secret kinky side and like "fifty shades of grey" about an s & m relationship this real story was a steamy topic. >> bob bashara's alleged secret life. >> reporter: and investigators looking into the murder of his wife jane were pursuing the sex dungeon angle, too. this s & m business, based on power and control with pain thrown in, seemed way more than the all too common woman on the side theory of motivation. they wondered, could it have had
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something to do with the murder? fetishes were coming out of the woodwo woodwork. >> when i heard the news i went to the police right off. >> reporter: this woman came forward with a romp in the dungeon she had with master bob. >> i told him rachel was his slave. >> reporter: she asked that we call her lynn. disguised beneath makeup she agreed to talk about her sexual lifestyle and the person she knows as master bob. lynn, a single mom with a job, made her own journey from the straight life, vanilla, she calls it, and understands the lure of being controlled and dominated. how do you go through that door? >> it's a scary door, especially for someone later in life discovering this. the sex life was boring to me. >> reporter: conventional. >> vanilla. i stumbled upon it and it hit me, well, this is what i have been missing. >> reporter: you're a submissive. >> yes.
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submissive means you submit to the dominant. the submissive will do pretty much anything her dominant says. >> reporter: putting on collars? >> yes. >> reporter: whips. >> whips, flogs, canes, crops. >> reporter: lynn said dungeon parties can be held anywhere, in warehouses, rental halls, garages, even suburban rec rooms. invitations come through the web and word of mouth. you're invited to a dungeon party. how do you know it's not john wayne gascy? >> you don't? i talked to people. if there is anything that doesn't sound right i wouldn't go. >> reporter: she heard about the dungeon beneath the bar from bashara himself and that he found her on an alternative lifestyle website. >> master bob and the reason i followed through is i had not experienced a dungeon. so understanding the draw, the
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excitement, i had to see the dungeon. >> reporter: one afternoon lynn met master bob and his special slave rachel for the first time. he said they spent a few minutes at the bar, chatted about nothing in particular and relaxed with a few stiff drinks. >> and then down to the dungeon. >> reporter: this is the actual dungeon she shared with master bob. it was shot under cover by wdiv-tv. >> the first thing i see in the far corner is a bed. next to the bed there was a giant web-looking device. >> reporter: a what? >> it looked like a giant spider web with rope. >> reporter: do i want to know? >> it was a 360-type web. >> reporter: the spider web contraption was in storage when the crew filmed under cover, but the dungeon contained hooks, ropes and other toys lynn remembered. >> how do you break the ice? >> that was quick. she disrobed as soon as we got there and already had her collar
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on. that's what i was ordered to do and that's what i did. >> reporter: master bob is telling you what to do? >> yes. >> reporter: and you're having a great time? >> yeah. it was really exciting. that's where we both had our first flogging. >> reporter: you say it so easily. my first flogging in the dungeon. >> yeah. >> reporter: she said she never went back to master bob's dungeon. she liked rachel, but master bob -- >> self-absorbed. very, very dominant. you know, when i say he is master bob, i believe he believes that with every fiber of his being. >> reporter: she went to the police, she said, because she believed bob's secret life may have been relevant. >> the purpose of my talking to the police is justice for jane's murder. >> reporter: there is a working theory of the motivation for the case that leads through master bob e's dungeon door. an old fashioned love triangle with a twist. the cops speculate bashara was
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so consumed with his lifestyle and his slave that jane didn't fit anymore into the relationship math. how did he solve the problem of one woman too many? did he delegate the dilemma to somebody else, possibly his handyman? a big guy who fixed faucets and touched up the paint on his rental properties? when the handyman paid police a visit he would have an unbelievable story to tell. at least the cops seemed to think so. >> coming up -- the night jane bashara died. in the words of the man who says he killed her. >> i went, wham, took her neck out with my boot. >> reporter: why would he kill her? this is it.
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charge ahead of the rest in the hov lane. bottled at the mountain source. crystal geyser. crystal geyser. crystal geyser. then we deliver it directly to you. two days after the body of jane bashara was discovered in the back seat of her mercedes, an suv ditched in a detroit alley, her husband of 25 years, bob bashara, was named a person of oh interest. just four days after that, in january of 2012, a huge guy walked into the grosse pointe
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park police station and the admission he made that day would turn the case upside down. >> hours later we break the story that joe gentz is talking to police, giving them very specific details. >> reporter: a handyman by trade, joe gentz had done minor work for bob bashara at bob's home and rental properties. >> he's 6'6" with a size 16 shoe, massive hands. he's a big guy. >> reporter: a big man with reportedly a child's mind. >> e he has a 3rd grade iq. he's mentally impaired. >> reporter: joe gentz was taken to an interview room and for three days the cop ohs listened to his bizarre account of jane's death. how he said he was responsible for it. the detectives appeared not to know what to make of this guy who walked in off the street with an outlandish confession. at the end of the interrogation they did a surprising thing -- they let joe gentz go. he walked out the front door without any charges.
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it seemed as though nobody in authority would take him seriously. reporter marc santia tracked him down and got a brief statement from him on camera. >> reporter: what do you want people to know? >> i want them to know the truth. >> reporter: santia didn't know what to believe about joe gentz. was he a killer or not? santia heard bits and pieces from sources but wanted it directly from joe gentz. something he knew that could be dangerous and tricky. when gentz said he would do an audit e owe only interview he asked detective tom berry to sit in with him. >> you didn't have the gold shield but the instincts kicked in. >> it's something i want to do. maybe i've still got it. >> reporter: they met in a suburban detroit conference room. t. berry switched on the tape recorder. as soon as joe gentz's confession came out, santia and
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t. berry knew why the cops had trouble believing it. it was bizarre and chilling. but was it true? you're hearing it on national television for the first time. >> why does he pick you? >> i'm a pawn basically. >> reporter: joe gentz said he met bob bashara in fall of 2011. bob didn't have a place for him but bob did throw work his way. almost immediately, the handyman claimed, bashara asked him to do a job that had nothing to do with the usually, making repairs in the backyard or painting garages, but the proposal was cleanup work of sorts. >> he tells me he wants his wife hit. >> he doesn't even know you. >> he goes, i want you to do this job. >> reporter: gentz said the job was to ram into jane while she was driving her mercedes. >> he wanted a hit-and-run. he said make it look like an accident. >> okay. >> like hitting a tree or -- >> what did he want you to hit
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the car with? >> that's a good question. another car. >> so this guy is asking me to di kill his wife. he wants her dead. >> reporter: the hit-and-run scheme went nowhere. plan b to murder jane involved a fake backyard accident. gentz said bashara was offering cash. >> he said i'll give you five grand if i knock out his wife. he wanted it to look like an accident that she fell off the roof of the house. >> reporter: gentz said he was set up to meet rer in the bashara backyard. he was expected to kill jane that day. though he talked to her out back he didn't go through with it. >> what does he say, if anything. >> he goes, i'm ticked off. you're supposed to take care of my wife. i'm like, bob, i don't know. he said, you're chicken. maybe i am. i've got a lot to lose here. i said, you're nuts. i told him that. >> reporter: bashara, according
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to the handyman, became more belligerent in demanding and nonstop phone calls. >> he's on a deadline. >> he tells you that? what kind of deadline? >> i'm sorry. bob said i'm on a deadline or you're on a deadline? >> he's on a deadline. bob's on a deadline. >> okay. >> now i'm like, what do you mean you're on a deadline? >> he says i've got to have this done immediately. >> reporter: as gentz told it, bashara's urgency became obvious when he called on the afternoon of january 24, 2012. >> he says, hey, i need you at my house at 7:00 tonight. >> 7:00 sharp. do not be late. >> what do you say? >> i'll be there. >> reporter: bob told joe he had boxes his wife wanted moved from the garage. >> he wants you to move stuff. doesn't want you to do anything else? >> he goes, i want you to take out my wife. >> was it your intention? he had a job for you. >> yeah. >> is that what you thought or did you think the hit? >> i thought about both. >> okay.
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>> i thought about both in the back of my mind. man, this ain't good. >> reporter: gentz said he blew off the previous killing schemes but anticipated this set-up was more serious. >> so he walks over to the bashara home in grosse pointe park. he's let in by bob. >> reporter: he said they were in the garage when jane, the wife came in and she was fuming. >> bob turns around. she's yelling and screaming at bob. >> what is she saying? i want this [ bleep ] out of here. take your damn [ bleep ] golf clubs to the country club. bob says, shut the woman up now. all i heard was -- click. >> gentz says bob produces a gun. he's got a gun. >> i looked down the barrel. i was like, oh [ bleep ]. >> what happened next? >> he said take her out or i'm taking you. bob was going to shoot me. >> okay. >> i hit her.
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>> you hit her -- >> to the neck. i knocked her down. >> did she yell? >> she goes, bob. w bob said, choke choke her. >> is she knocked out? >> no. >> is she groggy? >> she was more like, what are you doing, bob? help me, bob. bob says, take care of her. i went, wham. took her neck out with my boot. >> did he see you step on her neck? >> yep. seen the whole damn thing. bob said, make sure she's dead. bob said, load her up in the car. so i went to pick her up. >> but gentz couldn't lift her body by himself. bob came to help and as they lifted jane her breasts became exposed. >> the shirt opened up, okay? >> did you see a bra? >> i didn't see a bra. i seen [ bleep ]. bob goes, i'm sorry, baby. >> covers her up. >> covers her [ bleep ] up.
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we put her back in the vehicle. i put her feet in. bob put her head in. >> reporter: gentz said bob opened the garage and ordered him to drive away with jane's body laid across the back seat. >> he said, don't [ bleep ] up. >> you sat in binterview rooms with countless numbers of suspects. what did you think of his story? >> in my opinion he was telling the truth. the story was consistent. >> reporter: the ex-cop said gentz may have been most credible when he told of the exposed breast, bob's covering it up. >> to me very important. >> reporter: when her body was important she was not wearing a bra. >> exactly. why would he think of making up a story like that? the story flows. everything he told us basically flows. it's all believable. >> reporter: two months after it seemed the grosse pointe park police hadn't believed his
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murder confession, someone in authority finally did. >> you're under arrest for the murder of jane bashara. >> reporter: the wayne county prosecutor covering detroit and grosse pointe charged gentz, the handyman with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. conspiracy. an interesting word. just as it takes two to tango, it takes two to conspire. >> the community is waiting. when are they going to arrest bob bashara for the murder of his wife? >> reporter: or would they? would the other shoe ever drop? >> coming up, bob bashara tells his side of the story. >> think about it for a moment. if you wanted to harm someone, would you hire someone with a 68 i.q.? i'm not going to hire an idiot to kill my wife in my garage. >> when "dateline" continues. on. ♪ blind spot warning.
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joe gentz, the handyman, was behind bars. in his confession he said jane's husba husband, his sometimes boss bob bashara pulled a gun on him and ordered him to murder the wife or be killed himself. four months into the investigation, a question the prosecutor's office wasn't answering was why hadn't bashara been arrested for murder yet? >> i have no idea what happened. i wasn't here. >> reporter: left twisting by the cops with the other shoe not yet dropped we talked to bashara in april of last year in the family home where he lived with jane for 25 years. he told us then gentz did it, case closed. doing this. they have the man behind bars. let me rebuild my life. let me move on. i miss her terribly, the mother of two wonderful children is gone. that just absolutely saddens me. >> did you murder your wife? did you cause her death?
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>> absolutely not. >> were you in cahoots with this handyman guy to come in and do the dirty work? >> absolutely not. let me tell you something. i loved my wife dearly. loved my wife. >> were there other women? >> i do not want to get into a lot of this because of my children. i will tell you that i have a relationship with one other woman. >> is this the woman known as rachel? >> yes. but it has nothing to do with this case or anything to do with the death of jane. nothing at all. >> bob this gets complicated by what's being called your alternative lifestyle and people who say they know a different bob bashara. they know master bob. what do you say about it all? >> let me tell you. it was a private part of my life. it had nothing to do with jane. people talk about the dark side.
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they don't even know about what's involved with that. they think of this terrible notion of different things but they don't know what was going on. >> bashara says his big mistake was being a soft touch for gentz, trying to throw work his way. he said the handyman was demand out of family court and needed money. >> he called me because he had a custody hearing and needed $1500 to pay a lawyer. i wouldn't give it to him. >> he tell it is story you're there in the garage with a gun on him saying do it now. he gives her a karate chop. she's fighting. he stomps on her neck and you're there. >> unbelievable that he would say that. the man is disturbed. he made a mistake. he crossed the line, killed my wife and now he's trying to blame it on me.
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>> said he did it for a thousand bucks and an old beat-up cadillac. >> first it was two thousand. then six thousand. then eight thousand and a cadillac. i didn't offer him anything to do anything. think about it just for a moment. if you wanted to harm someone would you hire a guy with a 68 i.q. and have the work done in your garage? in your home? just for a moment think about that? does that make any sense? absolutely not. i'm not a me tnefarious person i'm not going to hire an idiot to kill my wife in my garage. >> reporter: then a case that was already sad and strange went completely off the rails. >> bob bashara leaves the station in the back of a squad car. >> reporter: june 2012, big headline news. bashara, accused in a conspir y
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conspiracy, a new one, to have the handyman joe gentz murdered by a killer for hire. bashara is look for a hit man to knock off his hit man. >> exactly. we're in shock. >> bashara was operating with the idea that he needs to stop joe gentz. >> reporter: in what can only be called a harebrained scheme they say he approached a friend who ran this furniture and appliance store and asked him to figure out a way to have joe gentz killed inside the county jail. tom berry, the ex-detroit cop said bashara told the appliance sales man the hit would be worth $20,000 to him. >> joe gentz is locked away in a cell. this hit man who isn't a hit man is going to do him how? >> going to get a guy in jail with gentz to put crushed glass in his food. ge erk gentz will eat it in the hope his colon is perforated and dies.
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>> the businessman never considers it for a second. >> never for a second. >> reporter: the appliance sales man immediately notified the cops. the retailer agreed to wear a wire when he met with bashara again to supposedly finalize terms. >> bob bashara wasn't offering this guy a million dollars to take joe gentz out. bob bashara was going to people who he thought would be easy targets, maybe easily manipulated like joe gentz was, to try to seal the deal. >> reporter: instead, according to reporterer hank winchester, bob sealed his own fate by yakking about the hit as a police surveillance team recorded and videoed his every word. >> it all came down to the tapes. bob bashara in his own words laid out the crime and investigators had a bombshell. >> reporter: so they are not talking in code or riddles or anything? >> no. he's talking about killing gentz in jail. >> reporter: did bashara think he's resolved the nagging joe gentz problem? after buying what he thought was
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a hit, bob retired to his sex dungeon to chill. the police were behind him. >> when he gets there, they move in. they put the handcuffs on him. >> reporter: master bob, so used to being the one to put on the cuffs was booked and issued a jump suit. in october of last year faced with the irrefutable evidence of the sting tapes bob bashara pleaded guilty to solicitation to murder. >> in june of 2012 i foolishly and regrettably offered to pay steve tabato to find someone to kill joe gentz. >> the judge gave him a sentence of at least 80 months in prison. at year's end the original hit man, handyman joe gentz, pleaded guilty to second degree murder. a negotiated deal in exchange for a lighter sentence than life in prison. >> bob bashara offered me money to kill his wife. he threatened me if i did not kill her. >> so there seems to bonl two ways to look at this. the prosecution's point of view,
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he's trying to get rid of his chief accuser. the other way, gentz got off light and he's revenging the murder of his wife. >> i see it as he was trying to kill the hit man he tired. >> gentz was now prepared to testify against his old boss but bob bashara still hadn't been charged with his wife's murder. prosecutors were slowly, methodically building a case beyond the handyman's accusation. seizing upon a mo oh ttive bigg than the usual love triangle. how about one person more? >> coming up, bob bashara talks about his secret sex life, and so does his sex slave mistress rachel. >> i unfortunately began to care very much for him and fell in love. in retrospect i realize he lied to me and manipulated me. >> next friday on "dateline" -- he was a tough guy, prepared for anything. but not this. >> he planned for any scenario except for the one that happened
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to him. >> his son and daughter-in-law found him murdered in his own home and found the killer still there. >> they said we are going to have to kill you now. >> a strange story got even stranger. >> they had purple gloves on. >> and they had blue fuzzy gloves. >> something isn't right here. >> could he have killed his own father? >> i did not do this. >> then a surprise witness changed everything in a bizarre story the strangest thing of all was the truth. >> it happens on tv. it doesn't happen to your family. but it does. [ stewart ] we've never cooked anything like this before.
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by nature, not by man. crystal geyser is always bottled at the mountain source. in june of 2012 -- >> reporter: a startling chain of events. bob bashara was unexpectedly in prison for a bungled attempt to have his handyman joe gentz knocked off by a hit man. the handyman was doing time for killing bashara's wife on orders, he said, from the husband. bashara had so far not been charged in his wife's death. so here's what was going on. behind the closed doors of the investigation, the police and prosecutors were looking at bob's relationship with the woman he admitted taking to the sex dungeon parties -- rachel, his mistress of three years who was cooperating with police. she was heard from publically in
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a brief interview with wdiv detroit. >> when i first met mr. bashara online, he actually on his profile said he was widowed. >> reporter: but he later admitted he was married. rachel was rueful about getting involved with master bob. >> i unfortunately began to care for him and fell in love. in retrospect i realize he lied to me and manipulated me. >> reporter: ex-cop tom berry said his sources in the investigation picked up on one thread in particular. rachel had allegedly given bob a deadline -- divorce your wife or i'm gone. >> bob took that ultimatum very seriously because that's when he became very aggressive with gentz. >> reporter: gentz said as much in his interview. bob is feeling the heat. >> he is on a deadline. bob's on a deadline. >> okay. >> now i'm like, what do you mean you're on a deadline? he says, i've got to have this done immediately.
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>> reporter: when the detectives went back and read the mistress's chatty blogs to the s & m community they had an ah-ha moment and thought they understood now what the deadline was all about. >> there is a theory the case gets weirder because this is not the classic lover's triangle. this is a lover's quadrangle. bob, two women and his wife. >> reporter: on her indiscreet forum blogs rachel let it known she and m.b., or master bob, were shopping for a third partner, a new sex slave to complete a fantasy three-way household. we are looking for a special girl, a third to round out our relationship. my very first requirement is that they have to adore mb. according to rachel's blog they found the ideal submissive -- a woman from oregon. >> this is a woman bob and rachel met online. she caught a quick glimpse into bob bashara's life -- the money, the beautiful house, the luxury
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cars, lakefront living in a suburb of detroit. on top of it all, you're into a kinky lifestyle and i am, too. let's get the party going. >> we want to make it a threesome instead of a twosome. move here. that's what was going on at the time of the homicide. >> reporter: in her blog rachel said bob went to oregon to meet the woman. january 10, 2012, they are forming a bond to someday be master and slave. bashara, according to reporter santia's sources washunting in park to find the threesome a place. >> there is motive, reason and a deadline. >> reporter: when you connect the dots the wife, jane, is odd woman out. >> basically jane is in the way. >> reporter: we confronted bashara with the three-way series before his arrest on the solicitation charge. the math didn't work. it was one woman too many and that's why she's dead.
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>> no, absolutely not. >> reporter: that becomes the theory for motivation for the prosecutor. >> absolutely. but it's not. >> reporter: the prosecutor's office did its own math. the gentz conviction coupled with bashara's attempted hit on him, the dungeon with the play mates and the looming deadline and the authorities were finally ready after a 16-month investigation to lower the boom on big bob. >> today robert bashara has been charged with one count of first-degree premeditated murder. >> reporter: bashara pleaded not guilty. a trial date could be set this august. a trial that's expected to lay out in steamy detail master bob's sexual lifestyle and gentz's account of being forced to commit a murder in the garage. >> it's such a tragedy because jane is gone and her family members will never get over that. i think what happened here is you had a guy who was mr. grosse pointe who thought he was
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invincible, who thought he could live this secret life and nobody would figure it out. >> he's not just bob bashara. he's big bob. he's higher, better than everybody else. uh think that's what bob thought. he's above everybody and everybody else is below him. today, everybody else was above him and he's on the bottom rung now. >> reporter: a man who reportedly had a taste for dungeons has found an all expenses paid one with the state of michigan. whether it's home for a few years or perhaps the rest of his life waits to be seen. >> that's all for this edition of "dateline." we'll see you again next friday at 8:00/7:00 central. i'm lester holt. previously on how i met your mother: ted: she was completely amazing. she was amazing and funny and... "this long-distance thing sucks, huh? and i really need to talk to you tonight."